“An important work that should influence the field of humor studies.” – Studies in American Humor
I edited this collection of writing that analyses the dynamics of audience behavior. With contributions by leading scholars, writers, and comedians, the essays consider the practice and reception of live comedy performance, including cultural and historical variations in comedy audience conduct, the reception of “low” versus “high” comedy, and the spread of affect in a crowd.
I talked to James Beard-award-winning author Elissa Altman about her new food memoir Treyf.
How do children’s authors come up with their wild ideas? An interview with the authors of Upside Down Magic.
A recap of the festival’s inaugural children’s day, including erudite picture books, Puerto Rican drum circles, and titles like A is for Activist.
My review of Roz Chast’s memoir and a New Yorker cartoonist event with tidbits on aging parents, death and comedy.
An essay analyzing the uses of (Jewish-style) humor in women’s confessional comics.
My review of Brooklyn’s second annual Food Book Fair, and my main question: why is it that, in 2013, the hippest events centre not on fashion or sculpture or music, but ragu?
A generation after SATC’s Mr. Big, the guys of Girls are way too into you. Some brief thoughts on the series’ leading (and led-on) men.
How does one relay memoir in the visual arts? An exploration of some of Judy Chicago’s lesser known autobiographical works (including many cat portraits).
My annual pilgrimage to my favorite congregation – the Brooklyn Book Festival.
A behind the scenes look at the art world’s silent schleppers.
The 10th anniversary of Mind over Madness, when the usual midtown jungle was overrun with the warriors, cobras and cats of 14,000 yogis.
At this New York event featuring therapists and editors, participants can either solve or sell their neuroses.
A profile of wine critic Alice Feiring, unveiling her Manishewitz roots.
My homage to fromage. A play-by-play of the second annual New York Cheesemonger Invitational.
I went to Poland searching for my missing roots, but found a Poland seeking its missing Jew. I converse with the director of the Krakow Jewish Culture festival, explore the country’s new Jewish institutions, and contemplate the role Jewishness plays in the national psyche.
British Jewry is coming out as a cultural movement.
An exploration of how Bar and Bat Mitzvahs have been represented in popular culture.
Is Jewish humor still funny? How can outsider humor function when its joke-tellers are on the inside?
Christianity, Islam and Buddhism all promote silent rituals. Where is the silence in Judaism? Or, are Jews just endlessly chatty?
A conversation with performance artist Andrea Fraser about how she approaches performance from a sociological as opposed to a psychological perspective.
We talk about Jewish jokes, but is a Jewish sense of humor expressed in the visual realm?
The catalogues for a series of exhibitions that I co-curated about paintings and drawings of English middle-class living rooms from 1675 to 2006.
A study of 1990s women’s art collectives and the domestic spaces they create in and by their work.
A review of Sarah Glidden’s graphic memoire about her Birthright trip and ambivalence about the country.
A review of the artist’s biography.
A review of Rachel Lichtenstein’s exploration of the changing East End of London.
I contributed reviews of London’s exorbitant and economical accommodations.